Wednesday, September 01, 2010


Garden results

jars of sauce, ready for canning

the crop (mostly cherry and grape, plus yellow cherry and a few heirloom) from the end of August
Ann holding one of the watering bottles (the green spike goes into the ground), filled with most yellow  cherry 

A few of the results of the garden this summer.

Sunday, December 23, 2007


2007 update

Wilco percussionist Glenn Kotche greets Ann after their concert at Mershon Auditorium in October.

The winter solstice from 198 Walhalla Road

Thursday, August 16, 2007


The Most Addorable Grandchild ever!

Introducing Summer Grace Woods Prentice, born 8/10/07, 4:02 p.m., Misawa, Japan. 8 lb, 20 1/2 inches -- and ten days ahead of her due date, which was clearly miscalculated!

Friday, December 15, 2006


Happy Holidays 2006!

We bid farewell to 2006, and send greetings to friends, families, and colleagues--below, a recounting of the year and what's happened in our journey through life. All good things to everyone, and best wishes for a happy and wondrous 2007!

and for the very latest, you can always check our personal blogs: or

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Well, the election's over--

--which is why we've been silent. Ann spent hours on the phone for America Votes and folding a mailing for Jennifer Br
unner, Alan was active for Move On--here he is demonstrating outside Congresswoman Deborah Pryce's office last summer--

and we both worked for Mary Jo Kilroy, Pryce's opponent--who came within a thousand votes of unseating the fourth ranking Republican in the House--not too bad, although disappointing, given the Demcratic sweep of state-wide offices and the Senate seat. We polticked for Mary Jo at the Clintonville Arts Festival in September (and we, confess, indulging in an auction that netted an antique tambourine and the Art Deco vase on the bench beside us).

Closer to election day, Ann was a guest at a fundraiser for Mary Jo and got this great shot of the candidate and the star of the fundraiser himself.

She ev
en got to ask him one of her two burning questions--only one, because his answer to the first was so complete it took 20 minutes. She didn't have the heart to ask another with so many other folks wanting to ask theirs!

The year began on a rather inauspicious note, though, with a break-in on New Year's night--while they were attending a service, no less! Happily the damage was minimal and the cats found still asleep in their beds, so they did what most people do and had a security system put in the next week. It's something that probably should have done long ago, but so it goes.
With spring abloom, Ann returned to Camp Cheerio, in the North Carolina mountains, for a week-long seminar studying with English calligrapher Gaynor Goffe.. Here she is with fellow student, Italian-American, and lover of handtools, Mark Wright, in the downstairs classroom.

On the way to Cheerio, Ann went to Kentucky to see the presentation of the annual UK award (see below), and enjoyed a short visit with banjo whiz Tim Lake and his wife, Miyuki--Tim received the Distinguished Alumnus Award several years ago. (Thanks to son Sheehan for the photo.)

June had Ann closeted in her studio designing a logo for Columbus' new Jewish Theatre Festival called "Beyond the Borscht Belt,"

developing a typefont dubbed "Hebrish" in the process, and lettering for an upcoming edition from newly revived Logan Elm Press (2007). In early July, when she looked up, news came that she'd won the World Handwriting Contest, for a second time, taking firsts in both her age category and over all, in what the judges called Artistic Writing. Pretty exciting, but humbling too. More details on the post below this one

Within weeks it was on th
e road again to Virginia to study with Michael Clark and his great family: son Jacob was Ann's steady companion, drawing and waxing eloquent about his favorite thing in the world, trains, while she lettered at the kitchen table for long hours.
Michael and family
She is deeply in debt for their graciousness and good humor in opening their home and carrying on life around her, making her one of the family. Thanks, Michael and Melissa, Katie, and Jennifer, and Jacob too for an exhilarating week. The trip ended in a joyous full-day visit with Kate and Patrick spent wandering the magnificent Richmond botanical gardens--beyond remarkable.
Kat & Pat do what newlyweds do
For Ann, in fact, it was a year for refilling the calligraphic well: studies continued almost without break in the fall, in workshops given through the Calligraphy Guild of Columbus (so many great learning opportunities!) with four calligraphic luminaries: Yves LeTerme (Drawn Letters),
Yves draws letters
Denis Brown (Layered Calligraphy; Expressive Lettering--these while marathoning a wedding lettering job that had her pulling an all-nighter to finish before the bride's entrance!), and finally the incomparable Ward Dunham with Linnea Lundquist (Black Letter...and much, much more).

Ann consults with Ward; Linnea deals with other students behind her
Meanwhile, she was busily planning her own workshops, both through the Greater Columbus Arts Council's Artists-in-the-Schools program and at her studio (more below). Here she is teaching marbling earlier in the year at Thomas Elementary School in Dublin, Ohio,

and a portion of her display at the Artists' Preview Night, held by GCAC as a sort of hiring fair at the beginning of the school year. For more about her programs through GCAC, see
Meanwhile, July had Alan team teaching an intensive seminar on Theatre and Aging with his colleague, Joy Reilly. Here he reacts to a puppet created by Jenny Stoessner, one of the students and an expert puppeteer, and shares a teaching moment,

while here performers Pat Barnett, Sarah Worthington, and Carol Shelton enjoy the applause after reading Alan's short play, Not the Delaney Sisters, written for the Senior Theatre League conference that met at Ohio State in 2003.

Pat and Sarah later commissioned a short play from Alan, which became Who's Herbert? Pat, Sarah, and Alan performed it in St. Louis for October's Senior Theatre League of America meeting; it had a second reading in December at Gallery 202 in Westerville, Ohio--for details, see http://www.osureadings.blogspot.comm --and here's the happy author with the Westerville cast, Ira "Bill" Simons, Sarah Worthington, and Tatyana Yassenoff.

In August, Alan hosted the third annual writing retreat for the International Center for Women Playwrights--writers come to Columbus and work all day, then each evening volunteer performers do cold readings of whatever the writers have been working on that day. Scots playwright Mags McSeveney, local actors Greg Fusco, Sarah Worthington, and K Adamson look a new pages from Boston playwright Geralyn Horton (standing) (and you can hear us both doing monologues on Geralyn's webpage, --we're numbers 10 & 11)

and Carol Shelton, Ann Mirels, and Sarah Worthington read another script.

While Alan was off with the playwrights, Ann was having new windows and new lighting installed in her studio classroom (thanks, Jody, for being the impetus for the latter), just in time to give her popular bi-annual marbling workshops at Aimia Art Works' Studio, two sponsored by The Aldus Society, Columbus' book collectors association.
Tina Cennamine creates

Paula Menhenett reveals her "marble"

Carolyn Johnson makes marbled flowers

Joe Branin displays his work

and Aldus Society members gather 'round

Later, in October, Ann took the marbling show on the road-- to Chillecothe, for The Friends of Dard Hunter Conference, giving both a workshop and a public demonstration. What a perfect job Dard, Eileen, Kathy and David (and many others) did in hosting that gathering, with exhibits, workshops and much more. For Ann, it was especially wonderful to meet in person so many fellow artists she'd admired in name only until then--people who also love and live the book arts.

Not to mention the parties! Is this cool, or what?

Shifting again to her calligrapher's hat, Ann finished up the year taking part in Columbus School for Girls' annual Colonial Days--as an itinerent instructor teaching the fine art of Penmanship circa 1806. Under the tutelage of art teacher extraordinaire Nan Hadley, these wonderful young women--in full costume, as was Ann--took up quills and metal nibs, dipped them into oak gall ink Ann had made for them (from a Walhalla ravine oak), and wrote the elegant Spencerian Hand. No kidding, they did beautifully--even t
he left-handed students whom Ann, breaking out of character for but a moment, counselled on how to keep from smearing their writing. Some other experiences of the day include candlemaking, preparing cloved oranges and spinning. We all had a great time...knowing, of course, that when it was over, we could all go back to our comfortable clothes, electric/gas stoves, washers and dryers, hot and cold running water, indoor plumbing.....

Amid all this, we were thrilled that daughter Kathryn and her new husband, Pat, came to spend their first anniversary with us (celebrated with dinner at Dragonfly) before shipping out to Japan, where the Navy has now stationed her/them for the next three years ...OF COURSE we're started planning a visit! ...their absence for the holidays, though, is already felt. Earlier in the year there was another Woods wedding--our niece, Catherine (Cat--some names seem to run in families--just ask Ann how many Flavias there are in her extended family!) maried in the Catskills--more at

However--we also
learned far more than we'd ever thought about shipping ferrets and a cat overseas--and specifically to Japan--and that was even with Kat's good friend Liz handling the actual details! Great though it was seeing Kat and Pat, their visit did prevent our traveling to Ontario, where Alan's short play, Last Call, was produced in Kitchener as part of the Asphalt Jungle Shorts Festival. More about the festival at We hope to catch it next time 'round.
Alan also spent the later summer working as dramaturg for our local professional theatre, CATCO, and their production of Ghost Stories -- short plays all set within the demolished Hartman Theatre, a downtown Columbus landmark for the first seven decades of the twentieth century. It played to enthusiastic crowds throughout the Hallowe'en season. UPDATE: the production just made the "ten best of 2006" list for the Columbus Dispatch theatre critic--so the work was both popular and appreciated!

We did get to Los Angeles in October for the presentation of the Margo Jones Medal to Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee (posthumously); we had a grand time visiting with Jerry and Bob's families.

Colleagues Nena Couch, Beth Kattelman join me in surrounding Janet Waldo Lee

And we stayed a few extra days and spent wonderful days at the Pasadena Art Museum and at the Getty--Ann's first visit to the 'new' Getty, which is a wondrous place high in the mountains that ring Los Angeles.

Now, as we lurch toward year's end, we turn our attention again to home (cleaning) and home ownership (repairs). Ah, home ownership. This year saw a (very expensive) new flat roof put on, a major garage door repair, revamping the garden...and almost a new dishwasher. We are happy to report that Ann, unconvinced by a repairman's declaring the computer board dead and the entire front unit in need of replacement at a cost of $650, managed to fix our dishwasher by deftly replugging a computer link and tightening a loose screw!

Ann, tools in hand! and sensibly kneeling on a knee pad!

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